Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentines delayed

I hope all my readers had an excellent Valentines Day and an all right President's Day. I wanted to give a special shout out to one reader who may be reading this on her brand new iPad. Glad to hear you're doing better, and I'll write you a proper message soon!

Still life. Cat with Valentines flowers and assorted mail. 
I had planned a little weekend getaway to San Antonio with Sam for Valentines, but it was delayed by the necessity of house stuff. Instead we had a little weekend jaunt to Houston to pick up some furniture from my parents (thanks, parents!). While there they took us out for a Valentines dinner (which is like dinner on a regular night except that it costs more and you have fewer choices). All and all, it was a fun trip, although it's easier for me to say that because I wasn't the one driving a 14-foot Uhaul truck back on 290.
Apparently, this is where the kids take all their prom pictures. We decided to get one too.

Sam and I on Valentines Day. One of the advantages of Houston is you can eat outside in February. One of the disadvantages of Houston is the other 11 months of the year. 
Yesterday, I had the day off and I spent the entire time inside painting cabinets while a crew removed all the tile flooring from the bedrooms. Today, and in fact any minute now, we should be getting carpet and counter tops. "After" pictures of the house may just be a week or so away!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Yard: Before

Haven't updated in a bit because we've been hard at work on the house. I'm not going to post progress pictures right now because most of the ones I took were poorly lit. Will definitely promise to up my smartphone photography game in time for the before and after posts. That said, while there is no photographic proof of such, we are making some headway. We've painted pretty much every wall in the house at this point (one last bedroom to go!). We hadn't planned to paint it all, but once you paint one room and realize what a difference a fresh coat of paint really does make, it's hard not to keep expanding. Also, what's the fun of going to Home Depot if you don't spend at least $200? So far we've painted the hall and living room a beige (well specifically: "arid landscape" which seems fitting for Austin), the dining room cranberry, the kitchen yellow, our bedroom a blue/purple/greyish color, and the office a dark blue grey. We'd planned to paint the guest bedroom the dark grey as well, but decided it's a bit much. Plus we still have an extra gallon of the arid landscape, and waste not, want not.

We have a number of projects for this week. After we finish the last bedroom, we want to paint the wooden cabinets in the kitchen. Then they'll be set next week when the countertop guys come. We went with a black granite. At first I thought granite would be prohibitively expensive, but it turns out one of the advantages of having a tiny kitchen with limited counter space is that it's cheap to resurface. And if I'm going to work in a small kitchen, it might as well have beautiful counter tops. After the cabinets and countertops are in place, I want to tackle putting up a subway tile backsplash and changing the fluorescent lighting fixture. We shall see how that goes. It is definitely a more ambitious DIY than painting.

Anyway, since I'm not posting pictures of the house, I thought I'd post some pictures of the yard. That will be our next project once we move in. Or my next project anyway.

From the back porch. Lawn could use some work, but we've got a couple of nice trees on the property.

One side of the house. 

From the other side of the yard looking back at the porch.

Other side of the house. 
It's kind of a blank slate, so any advice would be much appreciated. My aunt loaned me some landscaping books (thanks again!), but I'm still a bit at a loss of where to start. The two things I know I want to do are to build a compost structure in the garden area and fix up those beds. Possibly even plant some things. Beyond that, I don't know. I'm thinking of calling in some experts for consultation.

Anyway, hopefully next post, I'll have some proper progress to show you. Until then, it's back to painting...